Loyola closes out its non-conference slate Monday when Western Illinois visits Gentile Arena.
What you should know about Western Illinois (7-3, No. 194 KenPom):
Western Illinois beat Wisconsin. It also lost to Chicago State.
The Leathernecks have a pretty, 7-3 record, but three of the wins are against non-Division I programs. They win over Wisconsin is very impressive for a small, Summit League school like Western Illinois, but remember that the Badgers are experiencing a down-year after making consecutive Final Fours.
Western Illinois has played two other road games against power-conference teams, and it lost to Iowa by 34 points and to Creighton by 30.
The matchup between Western Illinois and Loyola will be decided by outside shooting and the turnover battle. Western Illinois is a great 3-point shooting team at 41.1 percent (No. 18 in the nation), but it also allows opponents to shoot 38.2 percent (No. 301) from deep.
Similarly, the Leathernecks rarely turn the ball over, but their defensive style also creates very few miscues.
What you should know about Loyola (6-5, No. 177 KenPom):
One of Loyola’s biggest weaknesses this season is it turns the ball over in more than 20 percent of its possessions. However, the Ramblers are also turning opponents over in 23.2 percent of their possessions, good for No. 14 in the country.
Western Illinois has good enough guards and is generally smart with the ball, so Loyola may have trouble creating as many giveaways usual.
The Ramblers can make up for that with some good outside shooting. They’ve been draining 3-pointers at a 39.2 percent clip with 32.8 percent of their total points coming from the perimeter.
The Leathernecks just allowed Chicago State, a below-average 3-point shooting squad, to shoot 10-of-20 from long range Saturday.
One other note for Monday’s game — with nine points, senior guard Devon Turk will reach 1,000 points for his career. Turk is already Loyola’s all-time leader in 3-pointers.
How to watch, listen, stream and bet:
Start time: 7 p.m. CT
Line: Loyola -6
Sagarin: Loyola -6
KenPom: Loyola 67, Western Illinois 62 (69%)